by Linda G. Miller
Tschumi-designed Tianjin Binhai Exploratorium completed
Construction has been completed on the Tianjin Binhai Exploratorium, a 355,200-square-foot museum in Tianjin, China. Designed by Bernard Tschumi Architects, the Exploratorium is set to open in Fall 2019 and will showcase artifacts from Tianjin’s industrial past. A series of large-scale cones form major rooms throughout the museum to showcase contemporary technology. The central cone, lit from above, connects all three levels of the Exploratorium. A spiraling ramp ascends to the top level, offering an unusual spatial experience of the modern vertical city by reinterpreting an ancient industrial typology. The cones provide even, natural light to gallery spaces and reduce the energy loads required for artificial lighting. Their tapered forms also concentrate warm air, which can then be channeled out of the building in summer or back into the galleries in winter. The perforated metal panels of the facade help reduce heat gain while giving the building a unified look despite its large size. The central, large atrium acts as a solar chimney, drawing up hot air and replacing it with cool air from below in a constant airstream. The roof is accessible to visitors and acts as a promenade with striking views over the surrounding city. The project was designed in collaboration with Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI). The Binhai Cultural Center master plan was prepared by Hamburg-based GMP Architekten.
Boarding in 2021
FXCollaborative completes designs for Moynihan Train Hall Metropolitan Lounge
Amtrak has reached a key milestone with the completion of planning and design for its premium passenger space, the Metropolitan Lounge (formerly Club Acela), by FXCollaborative. The newly created 10,985-square-foot lounge at Moynihan Train Hall will also include priority boarding, dedicated customer service agents, comfortable seating and tables with access to electrical outlets and USB ports, a dedicated family seating area, expanded food and beverage offerings, and a 20-foot-tall balcony overlooking the Train Hall. A business center and multiple conference rooms are part of the Executive Conference Center. The Moynihan Train Hall, which partners Amtrak with the New York State Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), expands the nation’s busiest train station, New York Penn Station, into the historic James A. Farley Post Office building to relieve crowding and improve passenger comfort and security. The 1913 Beaux-Arts Farley Post Office building sits across 8th Avenue from Penn Station and was designed by the same architecture firm, McKim, Mead, and White, as the original Penn Station. SOM has had a leading role in the design of the new Train Hall, which is expected to be open to the public in early 2021.
POP Goes the Indoor Plaza
Olympic Tower plaza by MdeAS Architects reopens to the public
The 10,500-square-foot interior public plaza at Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue reopened after a redesign of previously underutilized areas by MdeAS Architects. Originally constructed in 1974 by SOM, Olympic Tower was the first mixed-use building to open on Fifth Avenue. A Privately-Owned Public Space (POPS), the new plaza creates a much-needed respite for the East Midtown community and includes seating, retail, and a café. A circadian rhythm lighting system, designed by HDLC Lighting, oscillates over a 24-hour cycle, transforming the environment with warm amber light at sunrise before transitioning to cool, bright light during the day. Green wall tapestries act as a natural air-filtration system and provide clean air to building visitors. A series of commissioned artwork by Liam Gillick, titled Triangulated Passage, guides visitors through the space.
MoMA Sets the Date
DSR and Gensler-designed MoMA expansion to open in October 2019
The Museum of Modern Art will open its expanded campus on October 21, 2019, with a reimagined presentation of modern and contemporary art. The expansion, developed by MoMA with Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, adds more than 40,000 square feet of gallery space and enables the museum to exhibit significantly more art in new and interdisciplinary ways. The Studio in the heart of the museum will feature live programming and performances that react to, question, and challenge histories of modern art and the current cultural moment. An innovative second-floor Platform for education will invite visitors to connect with art that explores new ideas about the present, past, and future. Street-level galleries, free and open to all on the expanded ground floor, will better connect the museum to the city and while bringing art closer to people on the streets of midtown Manhattan. In October 2019, MoMA will highlight the creative affinities and frictions produced by displaying painting, sculpture, architecture, design, photography, media, performance, film, and works on paper. The fifth-, fourth-, and second-floor galleries will offer a deeper experience of art through all mediums and by artists from more diverse geographies and backgrounds than ever before. MoMA will close its doors from June 15 through reopening day in October.
Azrieli Center’s new tower to be designed by KPF
Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Center is gaining a new tower, which will be the tallest in the city. The 91-floor tower will have as much space as the [center’s] other three towers combined. Designed by KPF, the new 1.56 million-square-foot building is an elongated circle in plan and takes the form of a spiraling scroll. At the ground level, the outer layer of this spiral wraps around the existing retail base. The façade then wraps around the shaft of the new tower, narrowing as it ascends to create optimal office floor plates. Still higher, increasingly smaller floor plates accommodate residential and hotel functions. Overall, the tower will contain 65,000 square feet of office space, 17,000 square feet of residential (a total of 171 residences), 15,000 square feet of hotel space (133 rooms), and 15,000 square feet of retail space. At its pinnacle, the tower will feature a public space for gathering and entertainment. The firm is collaborating with Tel-Aviv-based Moshe Tzur Architects & Town Planners.
Library for Ethical Learning and Academic Excellence Gets an Update
ARO renovates Ethical Cultural Fieldston School library
The Ethical Cultural Fieldston School in the Riverdale section of the Bronx has recently opened its newly renovated Tate Library, designed by Architecture Research Office (ARO). Long considered a signature feature of the school’s campus, the library, originally designed by Murphy & Mackey Architects in the 1970s, no longer served the needs of its students. The newly renovated 23,000-square-foot building now has a spacious, open layout capable of providing greater access to books, information, and technology, enabling multiple methods of teaching and learning. The library’s new layout places offices, enclosed collaboration rooms, and support spaces around the perimeter, creating a flexible central space with bookstacks, group work areas, and places for individual study. Custom glass fiber-reinforced gypsum (GFRG) ceilings are a key element of the acoustic strategy and incorporate new LED lighting. Careful zoning of activities combined with extensive sound absorption fosters an environment conducive to both individual and collaborative work throughout the library. Strategic placement of bookshelves and other furniture in the central commons strengthens visual connections, improves both the quantity and quality of daylight, and provides generous views of the surrounding wooded campus.
This Just In
Selldorf Architects is designing an interpretation center for the Quianlong Garden in Beijing’s Forbidden City. The center is being built as part of an ongoing conservation effort by the World Monuments Fund and the Palace Museum to restore the site, which was constructed in the late 18th century as a retreat for the Qianlong Emperor. The interpretation center will be located in an existing structure.
The National Building Museum will partner with the LAB at Rockwell Group to present the 2019 Summer Block Party installation. The Lawn will take up the entirety of the Museum’s Great Hall and will offer interactive experiences for all ages from July 4 through September 2.
Drafted by the NYC Department of City Planning, the de Blasio administration released its rezoning proposal for Gowanus.
This Valentine’s Day, you can give the gift of “real estate” by adopting a place you love on the Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum. Giving levels range from $50 for the purchase of an apartment and up to $1,000 for a small commercial building or low-rise apartment building.
The Jacques Herzog und Pierre de Meuron Kabinett, a charitable foundation based in Basel, has gifted the MoMA 23 physical objects and accompanying digital assets such as sketches, study models, presentation models, and architectural fragments, as well as digital drawing sets, photographs, and videos.
Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, has won the Jane Drew Prize 2019, awarded for raising the profile of women in architecture. She is the eighth winner of the Women in Architecture Award, founded by the Architectural Review and the Architects Journal.
Shawn Basler, AIA; Nick Leahy, AIA; and Andrew Adelhardt III have been appointed co-CEOs of Perkins Eastman. Founders L. Bradford Perkins, FAIA, and Mary-Jean Eastman, FAIA, will continue at the firm as chairman and vice-chairman, respectively.
Ilias Papageorgiou has stepped down as partner at SO-IL to start PILA, a studio based in Athens and New York. He was with the firm since its inception and became a partner in 2013.
Woods Bagot has named Cliff Bollmann, AIA, regional leader of their transportation section.